Robert Lepage to explore citizenship and belonging

Lepage selected as the 12th speaker in the Institute for Canadian Citizenship's LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium lecture series

TORONTO, March 18, 2014 /CNW/ - The Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) and the Stratford Festival have once again partnered to present the ICC's LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium featuring Robert Lepage, cutting-edge creator and recipient of the Glenn Gould Prize. Marking the 12th event, the 2014 Symposium will take place this fall on Saturday, October 18 in Toronto; tickets are now on sale, visit lafontaine-baldwin.com.

Founded in 2000 by John Ralston Saul, the LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium is a national event that explores citizenship, belonging and the public good with leading Canadian and international thinkers. It challenges the audience to think about Canada's big picture by inviting them to add their voice to post-lecture roundtable discussions with the speaker and ICC founders and co-chairs, Saul and the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson. Past speakers include His Highness the Aga Khan, the Honourable Louise Arbour, Georges Erasmus, the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin and, most recently, Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations.

"Each year the Symposium speaker is selected for their ability to push our conversation in thought-provoking directions," said Saul. "We need this because Canada is the most experimental of countries when it comes to immigration and citizenship. We are at our best when we are open to original and inclusive ideas. Last year, National Chief Atleo asked us to paint a new picture of Canada that includes our First Nations peoples. This year, Robert Lepage will shift our dialogue into the enticingly abstract, referencing his work filled with people who are stateless, moving between countries or belonging to several civilizations. It will be fascinating to see where he takes us."

"I am both thrilled and honoured to be the 2014 LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium lecturer," said Robert Lepage. "I see this as a unique opportunity to celebrate new citizens who have chosen to make our country their own, and to explore how different cultures brought together are shaping our identity and making us all citizens of the world."

Last year, the launch of the ICC - Stratford Festival partnership saw the Symposium take centre stage in Stratford as a key element of its inaugural Stratford Festival Forum, a series exploring the principal themes found in the Festival's 12 theatrical productions performed over its seven-month season.

"We are delighted to partner with the ICC to present the Lafontaine-Baldwin Symposium," said Antoni Cimolino, Artistic Director of the Stratford Festival. "By co-hosting this event in Toronto, we are able to expand the borders of the Stratford Festival Forum, furthering our commitment to providing Canadians with unparalleled opportunities to explore issues crucial to a civil society. No one interested in contemporary theatre should miss this rare opportunity to hear Robert Lepage, one of the most extraordinary directors of our time."

Tickets can be purchased by calling the Stratford Festival box office 1.800.567.1600 (or 519.273.1600) or by emailing orders@stratfordfestival.ca. Visit lafontaine-baldwin.com for full event details.

12th LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium lecture by Robert Lepage
Isabel Bader Theatre, 2 p.m. | $30 (HST included), lecture only

Symposium Roundtable Discussion hosted by Lepage, Saul and Clarkson
Gardiner Museum, 4 p.m. | $70 (HST included), lecture and roundtable

Special discounted rates are available for members of the ICC's Cultural Access Pass program, students and arts workers. Please call 1.800.567.1600.

ABOUT THE INSTITUTE FOR CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP
The Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) is a national, non-profit charity that encourages active citizenship through innovative programs, collaborations and unique volunteer opportunities. Founded and co-chaired by the Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul, the ICC works to: ensure new citizens are welcomed and included as equals; create meaningful connections among all Canadians; foster a culture of engaged citizens; reframe the national conversation on inclusion, identity and citizenship; and celebrate what it means to be Canadian. For more information, visit icc-icc.ca. You can also follow us on Twitter (@ICCICC).

ABOUT THE STRATFORD FESTIVAL
The Stratford Festival, in picturesque Stratford, Ontario, Canada, is North America's leading classical theatre, drawing half a million visitors a year. It presents a seven-month season of a dozen plays in four venues, along with a Forum of events to enrich the play-going experience. With the works of Shakespeare at its core, the Festival features classics, contemporary dramas, musical theatre and new plays. It presented its first season in 1953, using an innovative thrust stage that revolutionized Shakespearean performance in our time and inspired the design of several other major venues worldwide. Visit stratfordfestival.ca for more information.

SOURCE Institute for Canadian Citizenship

For further information:

Jess Duerden, Institute for Canadian Citizenship
(416) 593-6998 ext. 225 | jduerden@icc-icc.ca

Ann Swerdfager, Stratford Festival
(519) 271-4040 ext. 2297 | aswerdfager@stratfordfestival.ca 

Sylvie Isabelle, Ex Machina
(418) 692-5323 | sisabelle@exmachina.qc.ca